Thursday 1st December 2016 is World AIDS day. It’s a day that is internationally recognised to help increase awareness of HIV, to challenge the stigma that people living with HIV face, and to remember those who’ve died from AIDS-related illnesses since the 1980s.

Advances in medication mean that HIV is now a manageable long-term condition and, fortunately, very few people are now diagnosed with AIDS.  But while AIDS is less of an issue for people in Scotland than it once was, HIV hasn’t gone away.  Last year 361 people were diagnosed with HIV in this country, that’s almost one person each day. There’s a lot we can do to prevent transmission of HIV, from knowing the facts about HIV and how it’s transmitted, to using condoms and lubricant, and getting tested regularly if you think you might be at risk.

Using condoms remains the most successful method of practising safer sex and preventing transmission of HIV and other STIs. It is quick and easy to pick up Free Condoms and lubricant from over 300 venues across Glasgow & Clyde, including pharmacies, health centres, bars and clubs.  We don't need your name, address or any other personal details, just head along to a Free Condoms venue which is most convenient for you.

 Confidential HIV testing is available at the Steve Retson Project or from the Sandyford or the Bronwlee Centre

“The world has changed a lot since the 1980s when HIV was first recognised. People diagnosed with HIV can now live full healthy lives. However, the way that others act and behave can make life difficult and unpleasant. These attitudes belong to the past. It’s time to end HIV stigma."

 

Dr Rak Nandwani, Consultant in Sexual Health & HIV Medicine.

#WhatWillYouDo

Unfortunately poor knowledge and misconceptions about how HIV is transmitted can still persist even in 2016. This means HIV can evoke fears, prejudices and negative attitudes in people who are not aware of the facts. As a result people living with HIV still experience unacceptable stigma and discrimination which can be detrimental to their health and wellbeing.

Stigma and discrimination includes:

  • Body language that is negative
  • Assumptions and or judgements being made
  • Being excluded from activities

This World AIDS Day the Steve Retson Project are joining with other organisations in Scotland to ask What will you do to challenge the stigma and prejudice faced by people living with HIV?

More information on World AIDS Day in Scotland can be found at www.aidsdayscotland.com